The Roots‘ own Black Thought is doing his part to help the young people from his hometown live an healthier and more active life. With over 900,000 young people in Philadelphia are overweight or obese, the GrassROOTS Community Foundation held its third annual health forum and Let’s Move It Philly! charity concert.
Building on First Lady Michelle Obama‘s initiative to promote physical and mental health, the health forum kicked off a day of education and entertainment. Guest speakers covered everything from eating a well-balanced meal to answering questions, dispelling myths and educating the audience on sexual activity. Over 150 people attended the event which included a speech from Mayor Michael Nutter and performance by spoken word artist Ursula Rucker. Black Thought was on hand for a special meet and greet.
Black Thought sat down for an exclusive interview with 4UMF. In addition to discussing his charity at length, the legendary rapper spoke about The Roots’ upcoming album. Tentatively titled & Then You Shoot Your Cousin, the band’s 11th album will follow in the footsteps of “undun” and “How I Got Over” and is expected to hit the shelves in 2014.
“We’re painting a picture,” he explains. “Using each song as a separate piece of a larger puzzle. It’s going to be dense, it’s going to be graphic.”
The Philly native is also revealed he is exploring the possibility of releasing a solo album which will feature a singing Black Thought. Expect features with Raheem DeVaughn, TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, New Orlean‘s Dr. John, Kenny Gamble and more.
“I’m working on a project,a solo effort where I do a lot more singing than writing.”
Philly rapper Chill Moody and his five-piece band kicked things off right. Dice Raw and his violinist kept the enrgy, pace and rock moving. Family Soul surprised the crowd and gave a rousing performance. Philly’s own Freeway had the packed crowd rocking to his favorite hits. Black Thought headlined the event. Holding court on stage, the legendary rapper freestyled over every beat DJ Shorty Rock threw at him including Tyga’s ‘Rack City,’ A$AP Rocky’s ‘Fuckin Problems’ and Kanye West and Jay-Z’s ‘Otis.’
Also preforming was a Philly favorite Freeway.
Founded by Black Thought and sociologist Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, the GrassROOTS Community Foundation is a healthy advocacy organization that supports, develops and scales community-driven solutions to the health facing women and girls living in poverty. Proceeds from the Let’s Move It Philly! charity concert will benefit C.H.I.C.K.S. (Creating Healthy Informed Confident Knowledgeable Selves), an after school health program for female students at Philadelphia’s Harding Middle School.
“We are concerned about the next generation coming up after us and we are doing what we can to help these young people and their families live healthy, active, happy lives,” said Black Thought, “This charity concert is important because it brings awareness to an issue that’s affecting thousands of kids in this city and millions around the country.”
For more information or to donate to the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, please visit www.grass-rootsfoundation.org